We had a fairly tame week, all things considered. Modern Masters 2017 singles are still finding their footing and sealed is staying pretty consistent. We have GP Orlando this weekend, so tons of limited action, and next week unified Modern in Texas. Let's dive into this week in Magic!
Pain's Reward had the biggest spike this week due to Wedge from The Mana Source posting a hilariously janky list (found here.) It actually looks like a ton of fun to pilot, and apparently others feel the same as a mini buyout occurred. It's worth noting that Death's Shadow CAN play this, but they barely even play Painful Truths's, so that's notable. I've ran this in Commander as ways to have fun and swap my life with an opponent via Soul Conduit. I'd look for this card to settle back down over the next few weeks.
Grasp of Fate is a strictly better Oblivion Ring, but I'm not sure that it warrants a $10 price tag. It's a great way to clean up some problem permanents while also (hopefully) making friends. I too would look for this card to drop back down from its massive spike. Granted it only has one printing and is a rare, I don't see effects like this being super high in demand.
Seismic Assault spiked this week. Which printing you ask? ALL of them. Paired with Swans of Bryn Argoll, you can pitch your lands at the swans, draw more, pitch more, etc. Then you dump your hand at your opponent. It was a deck in Standard long ago and it's a fringe deck in Modern (deck example here.) At 3 mana, even at RRR, it's still a playable enchantment. Thanks to Simian Spirit Guide, the deck is much faster than it should be. While I don't expect swans to take over Modern, I don't think Seismic Assault will see its previous pricing point.
One of my favorite green enchantments, Concordant Crossroads, went up massively. The Legends printing had been expensive for some time, but now it's stepped into a whole other level of expensive. I think I have two or three copies laying around in various Commander decks, where they will probably stay until sun burns out. You can still get the Chronicles versions for cheap compared to its older, more mature Legends brother. If you need a budget alternative, try Mass Hysteria.
I've got the power! 1990's songs notwithstanding, Power Artifact plays very well with Breya, Etherium Shaper, Memnarch and others like them. Unfortunately, this card is well out of range of the average Commander player and will continue to climb into eternity thanks to being a reserved list card. The art is dark, mysterious and silly at the same time. I'd love to talk more about how many uses this awesome card has, but paying $70 for the effect is not really that practical.
Apparently the people who wanted to buyout Pain's Reward for Modern also just went ahead and started foiling them, because it basically went from a few bucks to $30+. Foil Jester's Cap (9th ed.) spiked, but don't confuse that for Spike Jester, I jest not. I remember when Jester's Cap was “spoiled” in an Inquest magazine. It was earth shatteringly ground breaking at the time. I think they could print it at 2 cmc with 2 cmc activation and it would be fair, it would just have to exile itself. Foil Tidespout Tyrant got a buyout and proceeded to more than double in price. If you play Prossh, Skyraider of Kher, you probably play Food Chain. If you happen to own foils for your Commander or Legacy deck, you will be pleased to know they gained a cool $30+.
Linvala, Keeper of Silence was always one of the angels that never made it into my angel Commander decks because of her price. Thanks to MM17, she's at an all-time low! If you look at the trend for Eldrazi Temple, it really hasn't been doing anything but climbing. It's not too late to get them before they slowly climb out of reach for some. Traverse the Ulvenwald is an absolute rockstar card and should not be as cheap as it is right now. Even though it's near the most expensive it has ever been, I still think it's highly undervalued.
Some were stumped last week, but once again a few people figure it out right away. Last week the mystery card was Craterhoof Behemoth. This week, the gloves are off. I won't hold back. I won't give quarter!
This week, I'd like to talk about MTGO. I play it fairly regularly now, but didn't used to. I know many people have complaints about the way it's ran/managed. Some would like to see it copy other TCG's and include digital product with physical product. As someone who has quite a collection online and in paper, I just don't see MTGO killing itself that way. It has an established economy, although many disagree with the discrepancies. Some cards online are far too expensive, while others are much more inexpensive. For example, the cheapest MTGO Underground Sea is about $14, while in paper $200 will get you a pretty well played copy. To contrast that, Hurkyl's Recall can be had for around $3.50 in paper, but online will cost you over twice that. Yes the system isn't perfect, but I think we're too deep into MTGO to try and make it like a different TCG online.
Dissipation Field doesn't see that much play because the upside can quickly become a downside. However, I like to use it as a political weapon. Allow your opponent to hit you with his Acidic Slime on the condition he blows up something you choose. They spend their turn recasting the slime and become the bad guy for blowing up someone's card, meanwhile you become the master puppet master!